When New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick met standout defensive edge Bradley Chubb at the N.C. State pro day, he told him that there was “no chance” that the Patriots would be able to draft him. One month later, the outlook looks different: With New England gaining an additional first-round pick after trading away wide receiver Brandin Cooks, the team might very well be in a position to move up the board to target a player like Chubb.
At least in Pro Football Focus' recent seven-round mock draft this is exactly what happens: The Patriots send two draft picks – #23 and #43 – to the Washington Redskins to receive the 13th overall selection and a pick in the fourth round (#109). The trade itself would be a rather fair one when looking at the draft value chart: New England would give up selections worth a combined 383.01 points to move up the board and receive 365.25 points of value.
With the Patriots trading up to the 13th overall pick, they are in a position to add Chubb to their roster in PFF's scenario. The move would be a great one for New England and an absolute steal that would allow the team to add a game-changing defender to a front-seven that lacked just that in 2017: Chubb is an outstanding athlete and one of the truly elite-level players to enter the draft this year.
PFF's mock also has the Patriots making another trade later in round one: Similar to 2011, when the team also held two first-round picks entering the draft, New England opts to trade away the later one to get additional capital further down the line: In this scenario, the Patriots move pick #31 to the Pittsburgh Steelers to get two selections in return: the 40th and the 148th overall picks.
The Patriots then go on to add Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta with the 40th overall selection; the latest developmental passer to learn behind future Hall of Famer Tom Brady – and potentially take over one day. Later in round two, New England opts to add to its defense again by drafting Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell, who comes with a high football IQ and could serve as a depth option on defense and core special teamer.
New England opts to pick wide receiver Dante Pettis in round three before finally addressing the offensive tackle position one round later: After trading out of the 109th overall pick to pick up an additional later-round selection, the Patriots choose Western Michigan's Chukwuma Okorafor: a developmental option at the tackle position that could turn into a starter further down the line.
On day three, New England adds cornerback D.J. Reed (Kansas State), running back John Kelly (Tennessee), safety Troy Apke (Penn State), and tight end Dalton Schultz (Stanford). All in all, the team winds up with nine players in PFF's mock – a solid haul with Chubb the standout selection. And even though both Lauletta and Jewell appear to be slightly over-drafted, this draft would be a solid one for a team that is rarely in a position to add game-changing talent.